Most of us can probably recite the age-old recommendation to "drink eight 8-ounce cups of water every day" in our sleep. However, how many of us actually do it? We are often quick to replace our water bottles with sugar-sweetened beverages, coffee, or tea while telling ourselves, "it’s mostly water, right?"
Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption has more than doubled over the last 30 years and continues to rise with the average American drinking about 45 gallons a year. With approximately 16 teaspoons (or ¼ cup) of sugar per 20-ounce soda, that’s a lot of added sugars and empty calories!
How Much Water Do We Really Need?
Humans are made up of about 60% water and all of the systems in our bodies depend on water to function properly. Water helps regulate body temperature, cushion joints, and get rid of unwanted toxins and wastes.
According to the Institute of Medicine, men should drink approximately 12.5 cups of water daily and women 9 cups. This general recommendation varies from person to person and is affected by factors such as exercise, climate, and health status.
Tired of Boring Water?
If you’re tired of drinking plain water, here are a few ideas to help put some excitement back into your drinks without having to reach for sugar-sweetened beverages.
- The Aqua Zinger: This 20-ounce bottle puts some "zing" into water by infusing the natural flavors of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. You can enjoy two 20-ounce bottles for each recipe creation, which puts you more than halfway to your daily water goal! To learn more, visit their website.
- Ice, Ice Baby! Another easy way to put a fun twist on plain water is to use fruit-inspired ice cubes. Not only are they gorgeous to look at, they also add a great boost of flavor to water. Below are two recipe options that will leave you saying goodbye to plain, boring water forever! Click here for a printer-friendly version.
Berrylicious Ice Cubes
Makes 16 Ice Cubes
1. In an ice cube tray, place 1 raspberry and 2-3 blueberries in each cube.
2. Fill with water.
3. Place tray in freezer overnight, or until completely frozen.
4. Remove ice cubes from tray and add to water.
5. For a fun twist, try with sparkling water, club soda, seltzer water, etc.
Triple Berry Fruit Cubes
Makes 14 Ice Cubes
1. Wash berries well and pat dry. Remove tops from strawberries.
2. Place berries into a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.
3. Pour berry puree into an ice cube tray, filling each cube completely.
4. Place tray in freezer overnight, or until completely frozen.
5. Remove ice cubes from tray and add to water.
6. For a fun twist, try with sparkling water, club soda, seltzer water, etc. For a light cocktail option, add your choice of champagne or white wine.
"The Health Consequences of Drinking Soda and Other Sugar-Sweetenend Beverages," www.publichealthadvocacy.org